Steve was supposed to be leading Zac's on Tuesday but he ended up in hospital after a cardiac arrest: the things some people will do to avoid leading. Anyway I offered to do it and afterwards Ric said, 'Well, that was another study you scraped through by the skin of your teeth.'
I asked him what I could do to be better. He replied, 'Be Sean.' Which isn't exactly helpful but true.
The trouble is, for lots of our regulars, it's not so much Zac's place as Sean's place, and anyone trying to step into his shoes is at an instant disadvantage. That aside I don't help myself.
At the end we prayed for one young lad whose mother had just died. In the prayer I asked that God would be a mother to him. 'And father, and brother ...' and instead of stopping there I sort of carried on. And on. I was just about on the verge of asking God to be great-aunt and sister-in-law to the boy when I said, 'and child. No, not child. I don't mean child. I'll stop now. Amen.'
You see I panic. I'll say something with conviction ending it with 'as it says in the bible,' and then I'll doubt myself. And instead of just keeping quiet I say, 'I think it says that in the bible; does it say that in the bible? I think it does.' And I'm usually right but by focusing on it I draw attention to my uncertainty.
Afterwards Nigel took me aside and said, 'when you were praying, just before you said child, I sent up a quick prayer. I said, please stop Liz now; she's waffling.'
So you see it was Nigel and God's fault. But if I hadn't panicked I'd have got away with it because most people would have got bored and stopped listening by then.
I need the gift of authority and the ability to - not bluff exactly but to keep calm and - deny everything.